A-11 Offense Spring Football League – based on the The A-11 Offense that was created by Cal-Berkeley grad Steve Humphries and his Piedmont High School (Piedmont, CA) coaching partner Kurt Bryan – will be officially kicked off with a press conference this Thursday in San Francisco and the big news is they’ve got a television partner.
Over at the A-11 Facebook Page, this message was written on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2nd:
Over the next week our Executive team will be coming forward and rolling out a series of announcements to publicly launch the A11 Pro Football League. We are officially in the tunnel and about to take the next generation of Spring Football out onto the field.
A few weeks ago we announced the A11FL had agreed to terms with a major television partner and tonight we can report that both sides have finalized the agreement. In addition, the winners of our team branding contest just finished a months with of work polishing and perfecting all our team brands. Everything is finished and we can now move forward with major announcements and the roll out of the league. Announcements will be filled with information relevant to teams, markets and the league.
On Tuesday we will make the first announcement in the series that will introduce the new A11FL to our fans and the football world. It’s going to be an exciting week and we look forward to sharing it with you
The A-11 Offense Spring Football League will consist of several teams and in what appears to be a business model that’s not unlike that around the XFL: the TV network and the A-11 own all of the teams of the league, and all images and marketing are controlled by the A-11.
So, the question is how much of an investment is the TV network going to make? In the case of the XFL, which lasted for all of one-year, the TV Network Partner was NBC Sports, which was then ran by Dick Ebersol. It folded due to poor ratings. What will the fate of the A-11 Offense Spring Football League be?
I don’t think it will go the way of the XFL after one year because the A-11 minders aren’t trying to outdo the NFL. The A-11 Offense Spring Football League is a way to market not just the A-11 as a league, but a new way to play the game of football.
Steven spent years trying to get football types to adopt the A-11, and without much success. While elements of the offense were used, not only was it not employed in its pure form, but at the California high school level, rules were changed to prevent its use.
But what is the A-11?
It was born at Piedmont High School in 2007 and to take advantage of a loophole existed in the high school rule books that allowed teams in a punt or field goal kick formation to be exempted from uniform numbering requirements. The result was potential receivers spread all over the field, including offensive linemen, and a passing offense so powerful it allowed Piedmont High School to win games against opponents it would have lost to using ‘normal’ offensive formations. It was so good that the National Federation of State High School Associations removed the rules loophole which allowed the A-11 to be used.
But, not to be stopped from their effort to change football, Bryan and Humphries pressed on. And concepts, like The Polecat, which are based on the A-11, flourished. The idea of an ‘A-11 league’ started in 2012, and then really took off when former Rose Bowl Executive Scott McKibben (who represented the Oakland Tribune when I worked to bring the Super Bowl to Oakland in 1999-2001), joined as the league’s commissioner.
The press conference is this Thursday at 10 AM.